It doesn’t matter whether you call it sophism, philosophy, or science: you always have smoothtalkers and con artists that infiltrate. We used to allow for part of it, but we simply have to stand up and say: “No!” There are two guiding principles in terms of sophism that apply that we need to stick to: reason and experiment.

Reason focuses on induction, deduction, and reduction to the absurd. Induction means that you need to prove there’s a recursive step that reduces to itself, and you can also trace it to a proven base step. Deduction means that you need to show, given certain assumptions and rules, this leads to certain conclusions, given specific subject and circumstance.

Reduction to the absurd means that you show your argument holds, because the opposite may never hold.

Avoid logical jumps without a proven relationship, unfounded conclusions from contradictions that don’t retract and incorporate the base assumptions that lead to the contradiction in the first place, overgeneralizations, and applying statistical likelihoods as absolutes.

Experiments lead to results: verification or contradiction. When you don’t get the expected or hoped for result, sophistically, this is still a result. It either doesn’t work that way at all or only within a limited scope, meaning that a different context applies.

Emile M. Hobo / HoboArt © 2018 - 2019